Staff at the Institute of Development Studies have expressed their solidarity with staff and students at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India, following recent violence there.
They are greatly concerned by the unprecedented violence unleashed by masked groups targeting students and staff protesting against arbitrary fee hikes and authoritarian politics in India.
Professor Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies, said:
“We condemn the use of violence that took place at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) against student activists, faculty members and Muslim students who have been protesting peacefully.
“We are dismayed that none of the culprits have yet been charged and at the accusations of the Delhi police inaction. We firmly believe that attempts to suppress protest and incite violence and fear cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.
“We respect JNU as one of the premier institutes of learning and free thinking that has nurtured intellectual talent across the world. We urge the JNU leadership to take effective action to identify those responsible for the violence and also prevent future acts of repression against students and faculty. We urge the Indian government to institute an independent judicial inquiry to identify the masked culprits and charge them.
“We stand in solidarity with JNU colleagues and students and endorse their democratic rights to safety and express critical views peacefully. We also support the students and staff at Jamila Milia University and Aligarh Muslim University that faced brutal police attacks in December during peaceful protests against the controversial citizenship amendment act.”